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Selection procedures for employment in the EU institutions vary according to the staff categories for which candidates are applying.

Read on the sections below to find detailed information about each category. In general, notably for permanent staff, the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) is in charge of the selection.

You can also check our EPSO tests page where you can find an overview of our tests and get an idea of what skills you may need to develop in order to succeed.

For further details, consult the staff regulations and EPSO’s FAQs page. Learn more about EPSO’s EU career profiles and available job opportunities.

Permanent staff

The EU institutions select permanent staff through open competitions advertised on our website page.

A Notice of Competition accompanies each open competition, providing all details about the job profile sought, duties, eligibility criteria and selection procedures.

All applicants must create an EPSO account, the main tool to receive notifications and communications during a selection procedure.

A Selection Board, appointed for each competition, is responsible for evaluating candidates throughout the process.

Competitions are announced in all EU official languages. There are several steps to a selection procedure, each with a variety of tests and other methods assessing core competencies and professional skills:

  • Talent screener, for specialist competitions. Candidates are asked to list all their professional skills, experience and qualifications, which will then be assessed by the Selection Board.
  • Assessment centre, the final stage for the testing of general and field-related competencies. Through various tests, Selection Board members evaluate skills such as analysis and problem-solving, communicating, prioritising and organising, delivering quality and results, and others.

The selection procedure is designed to establish a reserve list of successful candidates.

Whenever recruitment needs arise, the EU institutions search for suitable candidates in the reserve list and invite the ones who best fit the vacant position to a job interview.

Depending on the competition, a selection procedure for permanent EU staff may last from a few up to several months.

You can also find out more about EPSO tests, including "EPSO tests: myths and facts", in our FAQs section.

Contract staff

Contract staff are recruited in two ways:

1) Contract Agents - CAST Permanent 

Contract Agents may be recruited via the CAST Permanent selection procedure. 

CAST stands for Contract Agents Selection Tool; Permanent means that the process is open-ended, with no deadline to submit applications.

On our job opportunities page you can find the CAST Permanent Call for Expressions of Interest for profiles such as finance, political affairs/EU policies, secretaries and clerks, information technology, law, communication, to name but a few. Applicants should follow the instructions associated with it.   

The procedure requires to create an EPSO account and to insert personal, professional and educational information into the CAST database.

Submitting an application for the CAST Permanent selection procedure does not mean that candidates will automatically be invited to sit the tests. 

Whenever recruiting needs arise, the EU institutions, bodies and agencies may search the CAST database and shortlist a limited number of applicants whose skills match the job requirements in question.

These pre-selected applicants will be invited to sit tests organised by EPSO: computer-based multiple-choice tests (MCQ) comprising verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning; a competency test (knowledge in the field of specialisation) or a language comprehension test (for linguist profiles).  Pending adjustments in the testing system, EPSO will be responsible only for organising the reasoning tests, but not for the competency tests. The recruiting services of the EU institutions will adapt the selection procedure of Contract Agents accordingly, and keep their relevant services informed of the applicable procedure.

Those who successfully pass the tests may be invited to an interview and eventually be recruited.

Learn more about the process on our CAST Permanent page from which you can apply directly.  


2) Contract Agents – Ad hoc vacancies

The EU institutions, bodies and agencies may also recruit contract staff to fill specific positions whenever the need arises. In this case, experts may be required to cover a variety of roles, from financial assistant, to social scientist, webmaster, cyber security engineer, just to name a few. 

Unlike the CAST Permanent process, each vacancy has an application deadline and contains information about the application, recruitment procedure and all other details.

EU institutions, bodies and agencies publish ad hoc contract staff vacancies and set their own application and recruitment procedures

You can find open contract staff vacancies on our job opportunities page. 

Temporary staff

Temporary agents are recruited to replace officials or to reinforce certain services, generally for a limited period of time

Temporary staff may be needed for a variety of roles such as social scientists, project managers, translators, scientific analysts, programming officers, among many others. 

The recruiting EU institutions, agencies and bodies may publish temporary staff vacancies on EPSO’s job opportunities page and organise the selection process themselves.

Depending on the different needs that arise at a certain moment, they might delegate the organisation of the selection procedure to EPSO. In the latter case, a Call for Expressions of Interest accompanies the selection procedure and includes details about the job profile sought, eligibility criteria and tests.

You may find more positions on the job vacancies websites of the EU institutions and bodies.

Seconded national experts (SNEs)

Seconded National Experts (SNEs) are qualified civil servants from EU Member States who bring their expertise to the EU for a set period of time.

EU institutions and agencies recruit them whenever they need staff with the unique skills that SNEs offer: technical, security, legal, financial expertise, among many others.  

SNE positions are often advertised on EPSO’s job opportunities page. All details related to the selection process, conditions of the secondment, eligibility criteria and nature of the tasks can be found in the respective vacancy notice. 

Recruiting EU institutions, bodies and agencies are in charge of their own application and recruitment procedures. 

Contact your country's permanent representation to the EU for information about current opportunities.

  • Interim staff

Interim staff are employed by temping agencies to carry out tasks at the EU institutions on a temporary basis. They are not EU staff members.

Interim staff cover a variety of manual, technical and other specific roles.

Agencies in Brussels

Rue des Princes 8-10
1000 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 2 643 4790

Start People
Rue Royal, 153
1210 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 212 1920

Galerie de la porte Louise 203/5
1050 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 2 513 14 14


Agencies in Luxembourg

5, Rue des primeurs
L-2361 Strassen

ADECCO Luxembourg S.A.
5, Rue des Mérovingiens
L-8070 Bertrange


  • EU experts

Experts in an EU policy field can register their credentials into an experts' database maintained by an EU institution or agency.

Registered experts may then be recruited for specific tasks, as needed.

Learn how you can become an EU Commission expert.

You can also check the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS).


  • Parliamentary Assistants

Parliamentary assistants work directly with Members of the European Parliament and assist them in their work by performing a large number of tasks. The positions are based in Brussels, Strasbourg or Luxembourg.

See the European Parliament's website for more information.

You may also check the EU Parliament political groups' websites for information about their own recruitment procedures.


  • Freelance linguists

A freelance career at the EU institutions is available to translators and interpreters.

To become a freelance translator:

  • for the European Commission, please consult the notices of call for tenders.
  • for the Court of Justice, please consult the contract notices.

To become a freelance interpreter at the European Commission, the European Parliament or the European Court of Justice, please learn more on Interpreting for Europe.


  • Maintenance and canteen staff

Maintenance workers and canteen staff are recruited via external contracting companies.

The contracts are awarded through open tender procedures.

You can learn more in the EU funding and tenders page.